"They told me I should have died that morning"
Michelin Star chef Sat Bains has revealed the foods that saved his life.
Sat suffered a heart attack in March 2021. It forced him to switch his diet and eat his favourite foods in “moderation”.
He was working out with his trainer in the garden when he experienced pain in his chest, jaw and eye socket, forcing him to call an ambulance.
Sat had severe narrowing in an artery which ruptured during the workout.
It led to a heart attack and Sat underwent an emergency triple heart bypass operation.
He said: “They call it the widowmaker. They told me I should have died that morning, I was lucky to be alive.”
The chef had always maintained a reasonable weight and considered himself fit.
But the health scare led Sat Bains to make dietary changes as well as writing his own book called Eat To Your Heart’s Content.
During the recovery process, Sat got in touch with his friend Dr Neil Williams, a nutritionist at Nottingham Trent University, who helped him create the diet that changed his life.
Following the operation, Sat lost a huge amount of weight and struggled to do anything by himself. It took him months to recover.
But he was determined to make the necessary changes.
Sat told Dr Williams: “Things aren’t right, I’ve got to change.”
A low-cholesterol diet plan was set out as the main cause of the heart attack was high cholesterol.
Sat was previously on a keto diet, which he swapped for more fruit and vegetables, lean protein and “good fats”.
He went from enjoying chocolate and steak to limiting himself to just two Freddo bars a week.
However, he “refuses” to eat bland food so he added things like soy sauce and chilli.
Before the heart attack, Sat would eat at least two steaks a week. This has now been limited to one every two or three weeks without the fat.
He told The Times: “The whole point is moderation and balance. I’ll have lots of fish, venison, game birds, which are very low in cholesterol.”
The chef has cut out most carbohydrates and limits himself to fish and chips or a burger once every six to eight weeks.
Other heart-healthy foods include nuts and seeds, oats and barley, oily fish and beans and pulses.
The Restaurant Sat Bains owner now believes he is as fit as he was before the heart attack and without the diet changes, he said:
“I probably would have popped my clogs sooner.
“Without the diet changes I would have carried on that path of keto, I would have got worse arteries for my genetic make-up.”